The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality communities in Mpumalanga were not deterred by blazing temperatures from attending the public hearings on the National Insurance (NHI) Bill that were conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Health last Saturday.

Explaining the overview and the objective of the Bill to the people, the Chairperson of the committee, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said: “Today is the day for the community, the committee is here to listen to what the people want in the Bill.”

During the public hearings, the people told the committee about their bad experiences about healthcare in Bushbuckridge. They said they don’t get assistance from the hospitals and clinics in Bushbuckridge. They asked the committee to go to all the health facilities in Bushbuckridge to see for themselves what is happening at those health facilities.

The people of Bushbuckridge welcomed and supported the Bill. The young people were the first to support the Bill, telling the committee that they hoped that the NHI will also create employment opportunities in the Bushbuckridge area, and they said they are optimistic that the NHI will provide healthcare services to the people, both young and old.

The people told the committee that they don’t get healthcare services in Bushbuckridge at the moment. One of the old ladies said: “We want the NHI will assist us as old people, our kids are dying because there are no ambulances. This new initiative will certainly bring a change in Bushbuckridge.”

The people told the committee that the government must fix the road infrastructure in Bushbuckridge among the first things it must do, as there are literally no roads to reach healthcare facilities in certain areas, and it must also fix the crumbling healthcare facilities. The people stressed the need for the training of the people at the healthcare facilities to ensure the provision of quality healthcare services.

By Yoliswa Landu
28 October 2019